Book: Alexander Dinelaris from the screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan
Choreographer: Karen Bruce
Director: Thea Sharrock
Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys
For a night of pure unadulterated entertainment then audiences need look no further than The Bodyguard, currently playing at The King’s Theatre in Glasgow.
Based on the 1992 Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner box office hit of the same name, Alexander Dinelaris has taken Lawrence Kasdan’s movie script and turned it into a glitzy and glamorous musical theatre thriller, replete with the 80s and 90s pop hits and power ballads of the late Whitney Houston.
Pop diva Rachel Marron (Alexandra Burke), reluctantly hires a bodyguard (Stuart Reid) when she receives disturbing threats from an obsessed stalker (played here with convincing menace by Mike Denman). The initial frostiness between the superstar and her minder thaws and blossoms into an affair, but as their guard drops, danger is still lurking in the shadows.
The show is played out on a spectacular set by Tom Hatley where projections, sliding screens and pyrotechnics are utilised to great and glamorous effect. Indeed the cleverness and slickness of the design adds to the classiness of the whole affair.The thriller element too, adds a different and welcome dimension to the show that sets it in its own little niche apart from the usual musical theatre fodder. The direction by Thea Sharrock is brisk and has a filmic quality and the whole narrative moves along apace.
Pocket rocket Alexandra Burke proves to be the biggest surprise of the evening, it is to Burke’s credit and a show of her commitment to the rôle, that, on initially being offered it, she turned it down in order to embark on a series of acting lessons, and it certainly has paid off here. She maintains a convincing American accent throughout and displays both convincing toughness and vulnerability as it is required. She also has an appealing warmth, that despite portraying the diva, makes you root for her throughout. At encore too she seems genuinely appreciative of the reception she gets from the audience.
Burke is more than ably supported by her fellow cast members. In particular Stuart Reid as bodyguard Frank, who is an oasis of calm and strength in the middle of an ocean of madness, and who alsoprovides some hysterical comedy moments, and Melissa James as sister Nicki who is in possession of a beautiful crystal clear singing voice.
It ain’t rocket science, but if it’s an evening of thrills and chills and great music from a first rate cast who give their all your looking for, then this can’t come more highly recommended.
Runs until Saturday 14 March 2015 then touring